Retail In-Store Positioning and Off-Shelf Strategies

Posted by Cindy Banker on 10/16/17 11:01 AM

Eye-level purchasing strategies have changed because store owners are becoming more knowledgable of their customers mindsets.

When it comes to getting your products noticed in stores, remember the old real estate cliché: location, location, location.

The right approach to in-store positioning can help your brand succeed, and the way you use off-shelf marketing through point of purchase displays can boost your sales. Let’s look at how you can make your product stand out in stores.

Is eye-level really “buy level”?

Traditionally Eye Level products get noticed and purchased more.

Here’s another adage from the retail world: “Eye-level is buy level.”

Many retailers lay out products with the notion that things positioned at eye-level will sell better. More expensive options tend to sit at eye-level – or just below it—while store brand products are on high or low shelves.

This concept isn’t always true across the board, notes Rich Scamehorn of InContext Solutions, a company that uses virtual reality to understand consumer behavior. His firm conducted two case studies that investigated the impact of eye-level positioning in a store’s cheese and yogurt aisle.

“For the cheese aisle, viewing began at eye-level, but a subtle change in placement had a big impact on viewing patterns and provided better opportunities for products that were ignored initially,” writes Scamehorn. “In the yogurt aisle, the results of our study directly contradicted the eye-level myth as the brand with the most views was placed on the bottom shelf.”

His takeaway? Product makers can’t base their shelf placement strategies on common knowledge. Investigate what will work best for you in each store, which might mean experimenting with a few different shelf locations.

Better yet, use an off-shelf POP display that positions your products away from the mix of competitors and grabs your customers’ attention.

Know your audience

Today, people use things such as jam multiple ways, therefore the item can be shelved in different areas in the store.Successful companies know what parts of the store they need to own to outdo the competition, writes Giovanni Arnese in Forbes.

“One maker of jam was able to boost net sales by an average 15 percent to 25 percent within four weeks in pilot stores by taking control of in-store assets,” he says.

They did this in part by knowing their audience and recognizing that most jam consumers have a flavor in mind when they enter the store.

The company also understood that its customers would have multiple uses for jam, and could, therefore, position it at other places around the store: near the waffle mix and cold meats, for example.

By putting it in these spots, the jam maker “knew it would increase the odds of reaching not only the 75% of shoppers who come into a store knowing they want jam, but also the 25% who don’t.”

Again, this is the type of situation where off-shelf POP displays could help, allowing you to position a product next to a related product – the meats or waffles example – to boost sales.

Too much of a good thing

HERRS floor display shows several flavors on the same display.Again, from InContext’s Scamehorn: “Numerous studies have found that too many options can overwhelm consumers and actually render them incapable of making a decision.”

A shopper confronted by an in-store display packed with several varieties of the same product might not decide to buy one at all. But a “small, concise and approachable” display might make it easier for shoppers to find a product that works for them.

Brand marketers can no longer be product-focused, they must be consumer focused. By creating well-curated product offerings that take into consideration store space availability and placement, brands are positioned for successful retail activation.

In-store is shrinking

We see this trend being embraced by retail chains like Wal-Mart and Target, which are opening scaled- down versions of their traditional “big-box” locations. These stores offer fewer items that are curated specifically to align with the local demographics. These “express” retail outlets are an ideal fit for urban areas that can’t accommodate larger outlets.

Target Express is an example of the store owner better targeting their customer.In Philadelphia, Target recently announced plans to open an express store in a trendy up-and-coming neighborhood of Northern Liberties. A company spokesperson said they will cater to the area that has a lot of growing young families by offering fresh produce and grab and go items, along with toys and kids clothing.

Off-shelf strategies

With less room and more products competing for in-store space, it is up to the brand marketers to determine how to ensure that their in-store activation will be successful. Many companies do this using a “store-back” approach, taking into account what they will need to optimize their products' visibility.  This means assessing on-and off-shelf opportunities and promotional placements, as well as signage.

Power wings are a good example of getting your product off shelf but still on display without competitors next to your product.It also means that brands must work with their retail customers to determine which SKUs will be most popular. They must support the in-store sales efforts by ensuring the product has visibility, availability and marketing support.

A well-planned, off-shelf display program can play a crucial role in providing not only visibility and access to products, but convenience to store personnel and customers. 

Do you need help with your in-store product positioning? Turn to ProCorr Display and Packaging for guidance. Companies that need appealing, creative and durable displays – from endcaps to power wings to floor displays – can count on us to deliver something that gets you noticed, no matter where your product sits within a store.

Contact us today to find out how ProCorr can help. Our designers look forward to hearing from you.

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